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European Reading Room Pamphlet Collection

Political pamphlets, tourist brochures, scholarly reports, and exhibit catalogs are the main content of the European Reading Room Pamphlet collection. These ephemeral materials are mostly from Eastern Europe and are uncataloged.


Image of pamphlet on Bulgarian women students
Eleonora Tourlakova, author. Bulgarian Women Students. 1980. Library of Congress European Reading Room.

The European Reading Room Pamphlet Collection is based on what was originally called the "Cold War Collection," containing thousands of uncataloged offprints, articles, newspaper clippings, conference papers, as well as pamphlets and small books. With the end of the Cold War and the publication of papers, as well as the redundancy of the clippings and offprints, the Collection has been culled, but still not cataloged. Only some material has been removed and given full cataloging.

The Collection now encompasses such materials as party platforms from Bulgaria, small booklets of poetry, scholarly reports, some small archival fond descriptions as well as other items that are more ephemeral in nature such as tourist brochures and Eastern European postcard sets. Still retained in the collection are a few offprints from issues of journals that the Library of Congress lacks. 

In 2004-2007 some materials from Western European countries were added although they have no relation to the Cold War. New materials continue to be added to the collection periodically based on the format rather than the content.

The materials are arranged in boxes by country with the Bulgarian collection the largest by far. It contains over 800 titles, many of which are political in nature. The Ukrainian collection is notable for its concentration on émigré titles. The Greek and Cyprus collection is almost exclusively about the conflict with Turkey. The other collections are assortments of publications with no true subject focus. The pamphlets are organized numerically by country and are kept in the reference collection of the European Reading Room. Item numbers appear in brackets at the end of each citation.